Chris Rock recently opened up to “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose about how being black and famous in Hollywood is very different from being white and famous.
“Being famous as a black guy is a little different than being famous as a white guy. Tom Hanks is an amazing actor, but Denzel Washington is a god to his people,” the comedian seriously told Rose. “Denzel Washington has a responsibility to his people that Tom Cruise, Liam Neeson, all these guys don’t have. They just make their art.”
Rock continued: “No one says, ‘Hey, Tom Cruise! Stay white! Don’t forget your whiteness! Come back and visit white people! What-chu doin’ for white people, Tom Cruise?! Yo Stallone, what are you doing for Italians?!'”
“(Black people) want to know that Denzel loves his people,” explains Rock. “That’s he doing stuff for his people. They feel his highs and lows more than white people. If Tom Hanks does a bad movie, there’s gonna be another good movie by somebody white next week. If Denzel does a bad movie, I might not see a good black movie for a year. I am really left out her hanging.”
Rock admitted that he feels the same pressures for himself “a little bit.”
In his new directorial feature “Top Five,” Rock plays a version of himself who is trying to make it as a serious actor.
“I wanted to do a movie about black fame,” he says of the film, in theatres December 12th.
He says with this movie, he finally “found a tone that works” for himself.
Rock, who has appeared alongside Adam Sandler in the “Grown Ups” franchise and “The Longest Yard,” says that following in Sandler’s career footsteps hasn’t always been the smartest move for him.
Rock explains: “Men always get their fashion sense from whatever friend gets laid the most… so since Sandler is my biggest movie star friend, I was like ‘OK, I’ll just do what he’s doing,’ but it didn’t really fit me. It fits when I’m in a movie with him, but it didn’t fit to make a movie with that tone. Or even an Eddie Murphy movie, that wasn’t my tone.”
But outside of his movie career, Rock says, “standup will always be at the core of my life. I really like it. I kind of love it.”
Watch Rock’s full interview with Charlie Rose below:
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